As I continue to post weekly, I literally have the ideas for this blog come to me through my conversations with people throughout the week.

Since I'm an educator and truly enjoy helping others learn about my profession and common conditions, I want your input.  Please, raise your hands and offer-up some ideas for blog posts.

I have plenty of ideas for blog posts, but is that what YOU WANT?  Do you want to learn more about Specific Conditions?  Treatment Options?  The changing system of healthcare?  Evidence-based medicine?  Functional Anatomy?  

I am not trying to get out putting together a blog post this week...I just want to provide you with the best content I can.

So please share, comment and continue to follow.

Be blessed!
-Dr. K
 
 
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First, I apologize for this week's post being so short.  Second, I am sure that some of you will enjoy a rather quick post.  Third, here is why this is such a brief post...

I recently began training in a rigorous continuing education program known as the McKenzie Method.  The first portion (Part A) involves 5 online modules prior to the live course, which is split over 2 weekends.  And...there are a total of 4 portions required to become certified as a MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) practitioner.  Nevertheless, I have been rapidly trying to complete this online training prior to the live session next weekend.

The reason I'm sharing this information is not simply to inflate my own skillset...rather to inform all of you that I am expanding.  I am expanding my skills to BETTER SERVE YOU. 

I have said this before, my practice is focused on ONE THING, PATIENTS.  So although this is a relatively short blog post, I want you all to understand that I have not forgotten about my weekly blog, but rather have been working to TRAIN my BRAIN, learning a new technique.

By the way, all of those with disc bulges and/or herniations, this training will help me serve you even more so.  Enjoy the weekend!

-Be Blessed!
Dr. K

 
 
Type 'immediate care' into your web browser and see what comes up.  You search for immediate care and almost instantly (see what I did there) you will have a map with listings for acute care clinics.  You will also see websites linking you to corporations or healthcare systems that operate these clinics; all of this information is literally at your fingertips.

Immediate care clinics are VERY BENEFICIAL, especially with the shortage of primary care physicians in this country.  There is a downfall: the topic of this week's post.


In today's U.S. culture we live by instantaneous everything...Think about text messages instead of voicemails, emails being forwarded to cell phones, enrollment for automatic payments of bills, complete dinners that can be cooked in minutes with the push of a button, drive thru restaurants and coffee shops, syncing of multiple devices, self-service check out lines at the grocery store, automatic routine emails (like this blog) and I am sure you can think of more.

Unfortunately, we (including myself) are living at a time that this mentality is THE way of life.  I cannot call it "A way of life" because if you live in the general U.S. population, urgency is THE way of life.  For those of us with packed schedules, we don't have time to wait for someone with 2 carts full of groceries to check out before us, while we stand there with just a carton of eggs.  WE NEED IT NOW.

When it comes to healthcare, there are numerous occasions that immediate/urgent care is required and necessary.  Take a look at your local ER.  I am very glad that ERs exist to care for those involved in MVAs (motor vehicle accidents in doctor-speak) and those experiencing acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).  WE NEED THAT CARE NOW.


When the time comes for you to seek care from your family physician for something that has progressively worsened over the past few months, immediate/urgent care is not always required or necessary.  What I mean is that someone experiencing wrist pain for the past 12 months that is progressively worsening probably would NOT benefit from immediate care and immediate results.

This is not to diminish or down-play someone's pain.  This wrist pain may very well be 8/10 on the classic 1-10 scale.  BUT, since that person has been experiencing pain for the last 12 months, an immediate cure should NOT be expected.  This, of course, depends on the true cause of the pain; an immediate cure could very easily be plausible.  MOST likely, a condition that is now chronic will usually take just as long to resolve.

The instant gratification world we live in FEEDS this mentality.  We all want to go into a doctor's office, receive care, and walk out feeling instantly better.  We want to be able to say "Thanks, I'm 100% better now!"  Please, try to fend off this mentality of instant gratification.

REALITY CHECK...especially for the conditions I see on a daily basis.  Quickly reducing pain is an obvious goal but eliminating pain after 1 treatment session is not a realistic goal.  However, this DOES happen in my office.  Many factors contribute to patient outcomes including:  age, nutritional status, activity levels, hydration, medications and genetics.  

So here's the take home message: EXPECT QUALITY CARE AND RESULTS, DO NOT ALWAYS EXPECT IMMEDIATE RESULTS. 

Please feel free to share this post, comment, and continue to follow me.

Be Blessed!
-Anatomy Geek
 
 
PicturePicture above: Acupuncture combined with Dry Needling for Knee pain (electrical stimulation added)










Acupuncture is an amazing and effective treatment option for many conditions.

Unfortunately, patients do NOT realize the potential of true acupuncture.  Most people have heard of acupuncture for addiction or stress relief, but almost any diagnosis or condition could benefit from acupuncture.  

For those of you following this blog, you understand I practice evidence-based medicine...there is a grey area when it comes to acupuncture.  Although that grey area is becoming much smaller, rather rapidly thanks to researchers.

I focus on the scientific and reproducible effects of acupuncture, but that is difficult because the practice and application of acupuncture (like many other medical treatments) varies greatly. 

There are clinicians that use acupuncture to treat fertility issues and there are clinicians that use it for post-traumatic stress disorder and there are those that use acupuncture for pain management.  From internal medicine disorders to psychological conditions to physical medicine conditions, acupuncture can be applied in many forms.

There are now almost 2 different views of acupuncture, the traditional system (Eastern Medicine) and the scientific system (Western Medicine).  True acupuncture lies in the traditional Chinese medicine realm (Eastern Medicine) and involves meridians and specific points that have been studied for literally thousands of years.  

I do incorporate meridian therapy and other well-known acupuncture points when I use acupuncture for a patient.  HOWEVER, I use acupuncture mainly for pain/symptom reduction or management.  Acupuncture, for my practice, is an amazing tool that can accomplish: analgesia (pain relief), protection of the body against infections, and regulation of various physiologic functions.  

Treatment of chronic pain that has not responded to other forms of treatment...that is probably the biggest group of conditions I use acupuncture for.
The TABLE above demonstrates that the NIH (National Institutes of Health) includes a wide variety of conditions that acupuncture may be beneficial for.  And just so you know I'm not pulling this from preferred sources, the WHO (World Health Organization) has a very similar list of conditions.  My thoughts on this are that: 

1) if other forms of pain reduction have failed (medications/procedures/physical therapy), WHY NOT TRY IT?
2) there are very few side effects (when performed by a qualified professional), WHY NOT TRY IT?
3) with a list such as this from the NIH or WHO, there really isn't a category of conditions that would not benefit fro acupuncture, WHY NOT TRY IT?

I know someone is going to read the caption of the picture at the beginning of this post and think "What the heck is dry needling?  Is there something called wet needling?"  So let me CLEAR THIS UP.

Dry needling is a technique that utilizes acupuncture needles to treat local pain and trigger points in soft tissues.  It is becoming a very popular technique used among physical therapists and chiropractors.  BUT, there is a significant difference between acupuncture and dry needling, there is NO meridian system in dry needling.  

So here is how dry needling works, a clinician will find tender areas and trigger points in certain muscle groups or near joints.  Then, the clinician will insert a number of needles in that area for a certain amount of time and possibly manipulate (move) the needles slightly while they are inserted.  
There it is, a quick run-down on acupuncture and dry needling.  As I have found the greatest benefit, I will almost always combine the 2 techniques for my patients.  Remember, most of my patients seek care for pain conditions and rehabilitation, so using needles to reduce symptoms can be a beneficial conservative option.  There are certain conditions and diagnoses that I am much more cautious and will even have needling as a contraindication, but that is fairly rare.

Please feel free to share this post, comment and continue to follow me.

Be Blessed!
-Anatomy Geek

 

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    Erik Korzen DC is a chiropractic physician and educator.  He is passionate about re-defining the chiropractic profession and is somewhat of an "Anatomy Geek".

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